by Sr Teresa Christine, O.C.D.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience,
but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
–C.S. Lewis

Our world is in pain. Over the past year, we’ve watched illness, social isolation, economic downfall, social unrest, and political turmoil sweep away all normalcy, leaving fear and anger in their wake. Holy water fonts have been emptied and replaced by bottles of hand sanitizer. Business owners have watched, helpless, as their life’s work is shuttered. Families have grieved the loss of loved ones without the consolation of a funeral. The temperature of our public discourse has risen and boiled over in political violence. What seemed unthinkable in American life has become commonplace. We look to the future and wonder what it will bring.

There remains one sure and certain foundation on which we can place our hope: heaven is at work to bring good out of all things (cf. Romans 8:28). The business of heaven is always to transform what the enemy intends for evil into a medicine that can cure our ailments. Above all the good that He desires for us, God wants to purify and heal us of what keeps us far from Him. We have become blind and deaf, relying on ourselves in an imaginary world of certainty and prosperity. We need a strong medicine. Perhaps God is like a loving parent who knows that the cure for their child’s illness may be painful but necessary, and so allows them to undergo a painful procedure. At the foot of the cross, the mother of Jesus understood the pain and confusion of this purification more than any other disciple of her Son. She is our mother, and as a good mother, she holds us while the Divine Physician comes to reset our broken bones.

February 11th is a day of multiple significance. The Church celebrates our Lady of Lourdes: our Lady reaches out most tenderly to bring healing to the bodies and souls of her children. Today is also the anniversary of death of our foundress, Venerable Mother Luisita. Founding our community in the midst of major political unrest and persecution of the Church in Socialist Mexico in 1921, she and the Sisters taught children and served the sick, risking their own lives to bring the healing of heaven to God’s people. The Church also sets aside February 11th as a day to pray for the sick, an acute need in our world today.

Mother Luisita, in imitation of Mary, became a conduit of God’s peace and guidance to the lost and afraid. She, like all the Saints, was courageous enough to allow the Divine Physician to place his scalpel where He desired. She was made whole under His steady hand, and having been purified, was able to lead many others to Him. Whatever the situation of our own personal lives at this time, God can use it to expose our wounds, heal them, and bring us through it to greater freedom on the other side. If we allow our hearts to open to God in the process and expand in His love, we will also become the channels of grace our world desperately needs.

Let us pray fervently today for the sick and broken in our world and ask for the grace to surrender to the purifying hand of God’s work in our own souls. In that way, we may become a healing balm for the world.